|> |> |>
|> |> |> I do like the idea of taxing the incandescent bulbs. But I also like
|> |> |> the idea of taxing cheap imports.
|> |> |>
|> |> |
|> |> | Then there are those who are opposed to using tax laws to promote public
|> |> | policy. Taxes distort the marketplace.
|> |> And I am not one of those. The marketplace needs to be distorted in a few
|> |> places. The market for subprime mortgage origination comes to mind as my
|> |> first place, if you need an example.
|> | The market for subprime mortgages is being distorted by a bailout
|> | (and FannieMay). Without a bailout there would be no distortion.
|> | Let 'em sink.
|> Totally unregulated markets are known to have ups and downs that can sometimes
|> get way out of whack. The bailout is to avoid a sinking that would just make
|> it go even further out of whack, or take other markets down with it.
| Perhaps true, but irrelevant.
|> The regulation I would focus on is to have avoided the whole mess in the first
|> place, and provide for a stable growth. The MINIMUM regulation to achieve
|> would be my goal.
| I agree, but also irrelevant.
|> The stupid businesses _should_ sink. But when it's a case of the sinking ship
|> taking other things down with it, that needs to be avoided.
| Agreed, but also irrelevant. The *point*
is that bailing out those
| who made bad bets allows them another chance to do so and telegraphs
| a terrible message to everyone else. *THAT*
is distorting the
NOT bailing them out just exacerbates the market decline. The correct thing
to have done would be to separate the bad decision makers from any benefits
of the bailout. Unfortunately, laws are not in place to do that effectively.
There needs to be certain regulations on this. Where bad decisions can only
affect ones own profits, the government really has no need to be involved.
But where bad decisions can affect the whole economy, the government has a
genuine interest to be involved.
Generally, bankruptcy proceedings can separate a loser from his losses.
Those who own a losing business get to lose their business that way.
That may well be an adequate remedy for situations like this. But if
more is needed, maybe jail time for the bad actors?
I did suspect this housing mess needs to have some people put in jail. But
the laws may not have made it sufficiently clear to do it this time around.
To the extent that is so, the laws need to change.
|> |> | As for taxing imports, this silliness was settled in the 18th Century in
|> |> | Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations." Smith proved that everybody
|> |> | when nations do what they do best and freely trade with other nations
|> |> | also do what they do best.
|> |> As long as all nations are on a level playing field, this would be so. But
|> |> it is a fact that most nations outside the USA have governments playing a
|> |> hand in the economies.
|> | It's impossible for a government to *not* have a hand in economics
|> | and silly to think they should (not).
|> How the governments in places like China are managing their economy compared
|> to the USA is a big contrast. It puts the USA in a weak position.
| Also true, but irrelevant.
You sure to consider a lot of things to be irrelevant.
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