Posts that the internet missed – part 1

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In this prior post I reviewed a few of this year’s posts from this blog that “broke through” past my subscriber base into a larger internet audience. In this post I’ll take another look at some posts that I think should have seen a broader audience.

Constantine, Putin, Trump and the co-opting of religion

The complete rolling over to supporting the crass and corrupt presidency of Donald Trump by the loosely-defined Evangelical Christian community remains one of the most bizarre aspects of this crazy time. This post from July is my own attempt at explaining it, going back in history to see how one Roman emperor and one Russian thug were able to pull off a similar “deal.”

Here is how you really simplify taxes

Back in January, following the passage of the 2017 tax changes, I predicted that the promises of simpler and lower taxes would not be coming as a result of that legislation. The first affected tax preparation season is now upon us, and my prophecy is now up for verification or rebuke. In this post I bring back a successful bi-partisan legislative path for both simplifying and reducing individual taxes by an order of magnitude for most people, using the precedent of how we closed a lot of redundant military bases.

Income inequality and the Rule of 72

This series of three posts from earlier in the year is a little wonkish, but I wanted to show how a simple accounting rule of thumb can explain much of how the populace sorted itself into three widening tiers of income growth over the last thirty years. Small differences in savings and pay raise rates have ballooned out over that period of time into our very real and worsening income inequality problem.

Free trade #1 – Assume everything is fungible

This is the first in a series on international trade that I will modestly say that Donald Trump should have read (Read? Hah!) before launching into a full-scale tariff war. In short, Donald Trump thinks only in terms of one-on-one trade “deals,” but the real world does not work that way because of this favorite word of mine: fungibility.

And Democrats should read the follow-up, about the primary unintended consequence of free trade. Basically, the benefits of free trade are largely invisible to most of us, but the each consequence has a name attached to it.

Wait for it…wait for it…

A recurring theme of this blog is that much of life is spent in waiting for the next “Poisson event” to happen to us (named after the French mathematician Siméon Denis Poisson –  pronounced Pwa-sahn), be it illness, gun violence, or waiting in line on the phone for the next customer support operator. If the world better understood the math behind “Poisson processes” we would all be much better off, I think. You and I live in “Poisson World” and yet most of the time we don’t realize it.

Private equity and tax welfare

Every time a Toys-R-Us or David’s Bridal falls into bankruptcy, you will hear a rant from me about how Mitt Romney/Bain Capital-style private equity firms usually play a big role in the corporate crash and burn. This post was the first in a three-part series about how this type of corporate ownership really exists only because these firms have worked their way into our tax and bankruptcy laws to create incredible financial advantages with horrible knock-on effects on many thousands of working Americans annually.

Stay tuned for another set of good posts you may have missed.

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