Some highlights from reading blog posts, articles, and tweets this week.

  1. Interesting Vincent Geloso thread on tax cheating according to income groups. Bottom line: As a percent of income lower-income people cheat more. I’ve always suspected this. If someone makes $30k a year and makes another $10k off the books, that’s easier to do than someone making $200k a year and making another $67k off the books. In the latter case, we get 1099s.
    He gives some indirect evidence but his reasoning is similar to mine.
  2. Happy Yeltsin Supermarket Day. A powerful story by Scott Lincicome about how Yeltsin dropped his view that Communism creates plenty. I remember hearing in a speech by the late Barry Asmus about 30 years ago that Harry Truman had said that if every Soviet citizen got a Sears catalogue in his mail on Friday, by Monday Communism would be dead. To use that line myself, of course, I wanted to see if it was accurate. I couldn’t track it down and so I called the Truman library. The person I talked to had no evidence that Truman had said that. But he should have.
  3. The problems with relying on regulated electric utilities to build the huge amount of infrastructure required to bring about a less-carbon-intensive electrical future. This is by the Conversable Economist. He consistently delivers quality.
  4. As I’ve seen saying for years in talks, the middle class has been disappearing: upward. By Daniel Griswold.
  5. An economist who became an important bureaucrat in the Philippines vents, with one graph, shown above, about the destruction caused by price controls.