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Steven Hansen  

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  • Suppressing Economic Growth By Taxation [View article]
    Bingo - there is a big difference between tax rates and what the taxpayer gets from the government. if the tax rate was 80%, and the government paid housing, food, transportation, higher education and medical expenses - that would be a good tax rate.
    Feb 3, 2013. 09:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Suppressing Economic Growth By Taxation [View article]
    all good points. consider though that europe has a large VAT around 20% which was not included, and some states (like mine) have no state taxes. no chart tell the correct story for a particular individual..

    having worked in several countries on the list - i think the list is "relatively" correct - but as you point out may be lacking in expressing the total tax load.
    Feb 3, 2013. 09:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Does Anyone Really Understand What Is Going On With Employment? [View article]
    you are correct - the labels in the graphs were reversed. however the point remains the same that the young hold fewer jobs as a percent of the population, and the old hold more jobs as a percentage of the population.
    Jan 12, 2013. 08:34 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Student Loans Destroying Consumption? [View article]
    I believe the biggest problem is the people who never go to university. most people leave high school with no skills or real world ability (balancing checkbooks, trade skills, computer skills, etc). if you want a nation of idiots, the lower and secondary education system is preparing most to be idiots.
    Dec 30, 2012. 11:54 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Trade Deficit Grows The U.S. Debt [View article]
    great links pigdog. although my opinion is contrary to the argument laid out in these two links - i believe one is educated by by understanding the other side of the coin. these arguments have validity as the USA monetary and fiscal policy is based on handling currency operations like the USA had a back currency - so the potential positive advantage of a fiat currency is not being utilized.
    Dec 16, 2012. 09:36 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fiscal Cliff Will Destroy The Economy? [View article]
    you are right that tax rate correlation to disposable income cannot be universally true. if the government took 100%, obviously that would remove all income. but this statement was within the context of historical changes in the USA (and not France or Zimbabwe).
    Dec 8, 2012. 10:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Should We Take ECRI's Recession Call Seriously? [View instapost]
    i am not a person who takes a single metric and runs with it. even a metric which historically been 100% accurate fails because of a specific set of conditions with manifest. as an example, our economic forecast uses a weighted set of approximately 10 metrics which we believe are accurate in real time. off the top of my head, i believe two of the 10 metrics were in contraction.

    i am not a lover of using monetary metrics (as you know) - so obviously i am not using this for any of my forecasting. i would use this as a secondary or confirming metric to what the other metrics are saying. i tend to lean heaviest on transport metrics, followed by import metrics. i would love to rely on certain employment metrics but i do not trust them in real time.
    Dec 2, 2012. 09:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should We Take ECRI's Recession Call Seriously? [View instapost]
    the bls data is the worst for getting it right in real time. they need at least 6 months, or a year and six months :) of course looking back at employment in the past recessions using historical data - what you are saying fits.

    a forecasting tool we use for forecasting employment is at the same levels (and downtrending) when the USA entered the great recession.
    Dec 1, 2012. 09:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should We Take ECRI's Recession Call Seriously? [View instapost]
    it will not be a credit driven crisis like 2007 / 8, but it will be a lower consumption event - driven in part because the great recessions debt imbalance has not cleared yet. at main street level (which is how our index is geared), it may not even be noticeable.

    in 4Q2012, there will be a significant headwind from inventory depletion - and my bet is there will be a slight reduction in consumption based on trend lines. this would be more than enough to put the USA in a technical recession.
    Dec 1, 2012. 09:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Twinkies And Employment [View article]
    i am a supporter of things that work - the situation in the Reuters article is a disgrace. the problem with public sector unionization is that they can politically fund the elected officials who are representing the "management" side - a clear conflict of interest.

    the concept of collective bargaining is based on two opposing sides - where is the opposing side if both parties are sitting on the same side of the table? it was Kennedy signed Executive Order 10988 which started this ball rolling. It is clear that this process has now created several monsters - and that the system itself needs adjustment.

    At this moment, it likely is the government itself who is the villain. the political system created a law, and left it on the books even when there is evidence it is not working correctly. The process throughout the federal, state and local governments needs sunset provisions on all laws and regulations.
    Nov 24, 2012. 10:54 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can They Spare A Penny A Click For International Coverage? [View instapost]
    Jon - as a publisher of another blog, i can say that SA knows what sells and does not - and likely they have an optimum number (not unlimited) of slots daily (likely arranged by subject matter).

    their mailing lists are predicated on subject matter - and doubt they have a mailing list for "sri lanka". so they are trying to get you to conform to their system by getting you to match your posts investment touts to their system.

    all of the authors on SA have had your problem in the past - and yes, it upsets me when it happens - so i can totally sympathize. but SA offers great exposure, and the good more than makes up for this kind of frustration.

    good luck.
    Nov 14, 2012. 09:37 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Effects Of Obamacare On Employment [View article]
    i too would conclude it is time to buy stock in temp staffing companies,
    Nov 12, 2012. 12:00 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Effects Of Obamacare On Employment [View article]
    every one is entitled to their opinions - but facts are facts.

    trade unions, companies - all got waivers of various types for Obamacare. i have not read each one, but the waivers expire differently, and all expire by 2014.

    the Nebraska waiver was given to all states in the final reconciliation of the bill before it became law.
    Nov 11, 2012. 08:34 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Effects Of Obamacare On Employment [View article]
    Under the law, companies will be responsible for providing coverage for workers or they will face government penalties -- but not for employees who log fewer than 30 hours per week on average.

    it is important that disinformation be refuted. please refer to the USA governments own website : which states the following:

    "Employers may refuse or restrict [Obamacare] coverage for other reasons (such as part-time employment), as long as these are unrelated to your health status and are applied consistently."

    so no - 100 part time employees are not equal to 96 full time. the law specifically exempts employers from Obamacare for part-time employees.
    Nov 11, 2012. 06:45 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Growing Goods Import Problem? [View article]
    i have read both yours and PM's comments and both are correct. what PM is saying that the USA system taxes domestic production - and does not tax foreign production. most countries refund all taxes paid for exports (the USA does not do this either).

    so the USA starts from an inferior position - and this is the problem. VAT is the only way around this that i am aware (duties are not possible under current agreements).

    However, your points on the income tax system are equally as valid. I don't see why a VAT system cannot coexist with the existing system for goods. many countries allow credit by individuals and companies against income taxes for VAT paid.
    Nov 5, 2012. 12:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment