Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday Quick Hits

I'm still tired from my birthday dinner last night, so you're only getting headlines tonight.  But as my mom would say, somehow I think you'll live:
  • Cato's Dan Ikenson is on blog-fire today.  First, he's deflating the China-as-economic-model myth.  Then, he's all up in the President's grill about how our trade remedy laws undermine Obama's big National Export Initiative.  And he still had time to buy me lunch.  Very, very efficient, that guy.
  • Germany's ridiculous new law restricting "naked" short-selling not only is economically illiterate, but also could violate global trade rulesUnglaublich!
  • Breaking down the conventional wisdom about the VAT and exports.  (Something to keep in mind next year when the President uses export-expansion as one of his reasons for cramming a VAT down our throats.)
  • KPMG Report: Mexico is the most tax-competitive country in the world.  The United States now ranks sixth (out of ten), down one spot since last year (grrreat).  And the highest-tax country in the world?  France.  Shocking, I know.
  • Speaking of higher American taxes, here's a shock:  it is literally impossible to tax your way out of a fiscal hole.  There's a law and everything (plus one of the coolest charts I've seen in a while).  Oh, there's a good comment on this issue here by Cato's Dan Mitchell.
  • And finally tonight, economists and policymakers often like to sell free trade by explaining how well it works for the American states and how stupid interstate protectionism would be.  This smart move plays to people's inherent understanding and reason and is often successful in converting trade skeptics.  These guys, however, did NOT get that memo:


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