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Monday, September 05, 2011

Links - 5th September 2011

"It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." - John Andrew Holmes

***

Evidence On The High-income Laffer Curve From Six Decades Of Tax Reform - "A burgeoning literature in public finance seeks to estimate the impact of marginal tax rates on the behavior of the rich. This literature argues that by leading people to shift income out of taxable form when rates rise, high marginal rates and progressivitiy in the tax code can create a substantial deadweight loss while raising little revenue, even if the elasticity of labor supply is zero. The literature has used natural experiment methods on data from the tax cuts of the 1980s and estimated a large behavioral response of high-income taxpayers. In this paper, I use the same methods as this literature but examine tax changes from previous decades that generated the same type of tax variation as the tax cuts of the 1980s but with potentially fewer, or at least different, problems of spurious correlation. The evidence from both aggregate cross-sectional data on tax returns and panel data on executive compensation indicates that the responsiveness of high-income people seems to be relatively modest in almost all time periods except the 1980s. The lowest estimates of the elasticity based on the 1980s data exceed even the highest estimates from data on any previous tax change"
Translation: The evidence from the 1980s is that tax cuts did spur the rich to work more (or at least to declare more income on their tax returns), but that's because the marginal tax rates were really high in the 1980s

Homeless man who befriended banker begs to pay for her hotel after she loses her job and house - "Curtis Jackson is paying for the woman to stay in a hotel whilst she gets her life back together because she once showed him kindness. Every day he trawls the streets of Chicago begging for money just so she can have a bed - whilst he sleeps on the streets. Over the last five months he has raised $9,000 (£5,300) and given it all to his new friend. Until December, the 39-year-old woman, who has not been named, had a steady job at a bank and a suburban home, where she would regularly give Mr Jackson some food and spend time with him"

EpicStep › SWAAY's Sex Work Definition Billboard - "In response to increasing pressures from anti-sex worker campaigns this summer, SWAAY would like our friends and allies to help us put up what would be the first sex workers' rights billboard in America. We're starting with answering the first question: what is sex work?"

Obama revealed: A moderate Republican - "President Obama, if you look closely at his positions, is a moderate Republican of the early 1990s. And the Republican Party he’s facing has abandoned many of its best ideas in its effort to oppose him."

Canadian Woman Hits Moose, on Way to See Sister, Who Hit Moose

Many Health-Care Workers Have Turned to Alternative Medicine - US News and World Report - "Three out of every four U.S. health-care workers use some form of complementary or alternative medicine or practice to help stay healthy, a new report shows. What's more, doctors, nurses and their assistants, health technicians, and healthcare administrators were actually more likely than the general public to use any number of wide-ranging alternative medicine options, including massage, yoga, acupuncture, Pilates or herbal medicines... "These results are not surprising, as in fact we've had similar findings looking at health-care practitioner attitudes and uses regarding dietary supplements""

High-speed rail: Tres grand vitesse, tres grand cost overrun | The Economist - "Major infrastructure projects around the world, whether they involve rails, roads or "fixed-links" (airports, bridges, tunnels, etc), usually run way over budget... if we were going to cancel infrastructure projects when they start to run more than 25% over budget, we'd never build any infrastructure"
$1.5 billion cost overrun on Expressway. Sinkie Taxpayers have to pay - at least no one commented "uniquely singapore" or "only in singapore"

Star Wars Meets Disney? The Muppets? This Continues To Please Me.

Don't Piss Off the Judge - "An actual judicial order issued last week by a federal judge in Austin, Texas...
You are invited to a kindergarten party on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 2 of the United States Courthouse, 200 W. Eighth Street, Austin, Texas.
The party will feature many exciting and informative lessons, including:
How to telephone and communicate with a lawyer
How to enter into reasonable agreements about deposition dates
How to limit depositions to reasonable subject matter
Why it is neither cute nor clever to attempt to quash a subpoena for technical failures of service when notice is reasonably given; and
An advanced seminar on not wasting the time of a busy federal judge and his staff because you are unable to practice law at the level of a first year law student."

The 5 Most Depraved Sex Scenes Implied by 'Harry Potter' - "#5. Dolores Umbridge Gets Gang Raped by Centaurs
#4. Magical Date-Rape Drugs Are Legal and Sold in the Open
#3. Polyjuice Potion and Temporary Gender Reassignment
2. Dumbledore's Brother Got Busted for Bestiality
#1. Hagrid's Father Banged a Giant"

World survey links religion and happiness - "In societies under stress, those who are religious outnumber – and are happier than – their nonreligious counterparts. Where peace and plenty are the norm, however, religious participation is lower and people are happier whether or not they are religious"

S’pore’s private education in a tizzy - "“They are just about regulations and not about quality education,” quipped a US citizen turned PR who once taught in various private schools in Singapore before throwing up her hand to quit the private education industry in the republic... Many legitimate, “bona fide schools” – those seemingly dubbed as “above board” – FMT learns, have yet to receive word from the body over the outcome of their EduTrust or Enhance Regulatory Framework (ERF) applications (ERF is only issued to schools that want to recruit local students). Just as unfathomable, is the “unhindered” manner in which EduTrust and ERF were awarded to those who have had police reports and other reported acts of malfeasance preferred against them"

cable 09SINGAPORE61, JOURNALISTS FRUSTRATED BY PRESS CONTROLS - "Singapore journalists say they are increasingly frustrated with GOS-imposed limits on their domestic reporting. Political leaders put pressure on the Straits Times (ST) staff to ensure that the paper's domestic coverage follows the government line. Reporters say they are eager to produce more investigative and critical reporting, but they are stifled by editors who have been groomed to tow the line"
Time for Chua Chin Hon to find a new job (Lynn Lee already has). Way to go Wikileaks, sabotaging dissidents! I hope someone leaks a sex video of Julian Assange and all his private details and information

Unredacted WikiLeaks Cables Published - WSJ.com - "The fracas has put WikiLeaks in the position of decrying what it called the "reckless" and "negligent" disclosure of information—something WikiLeaks' critics have long accused it of doing itself"

Freakonomics » Congratulations, You’ve Lost! How Slot Machines Disguise Losses as Wins

Products With Unintentionally Vulgar Sticker Placements
Mr Brown: (I assure you, as a former retail staff, these were not unintentional)

SINGAPORE AIRPORT "CORPORATIZED"; LEE FAMILY AND TEMASEK INFLUENCE STRENGTHENED - "Singapore has "corporatized" Changi International Airport in a move that will consolidate control of the domestic aviation sector in the hands of sovereign wealth fund Temasek and the Lee family"

PROMOTING MAINSTREAM ISLAM: THE SINGAPORE MODEL - "Muslims MPs told us members of the community will report to them when Islamic clerics deviate from the official Friday sermon, and MUIS officials will then remind the imam to deliver the prepared text... Many Muslim journalists and community leaders have told us that this monitoring makes them reluctant to criticize the government. They fear government reprisals, such as a defamation suit or detention under Singapore's Internal Security Act (ISA) for fomenting racial tension. The immediate past-president of MUIS told us that he feared being "blacklisted" after he argued at a closed-door session that the GOS deters Muslim challenges to the government by keeping the Muslim elite busy with social welfare work; a listener reported his comments to the GOS, which then "requested" a written text of his presentation... This GOS effort to promote its version of "progressive" Islam that supports the existing social and political order is an example of the PAP government's top-down social engineering. This approach seeks to ensure the PAP's continued dominance"
Maintaining racial-religious harmony hurts religion

Odd Numbers are Male Even Numbers are Female

Recruitment controversy: More to hiring staff than just eye candy - "Mr James Ong, director of local frozen yogurt chain Frolick, said it is a 'coincidence' that his front-line staff - made up of women aged between 17 and 22 - are generally young and pretty."

This is 1 Nation, Most Expensive Liquid - "Ink costs more than human blood"

Will Kate Winslet's Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League catch on? - "It is all very well when you look like one of the founding members of the British Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League, but not every woman glances in the mirror and sees Rachel Weisz staring back at them"

Download.com wraps downloads in bloatware, lies about motivations

Effects of Toxoplasma on Human Behavior - "Up to 80% of the population may be infected, depending on eating habits and exposure to cats... the men were more likely to disregard rules and were more expedient, suspicious, jealous, and dogmatic... [Women] were more warm hearted, outgoing, conscientious, persistent, and moralistic. Both men and women had significantly higher apprehension (factor O) compared with the uninfected controls... oxoplasma-infected subjects have a 2.65 times higher risk of traffic accidents than Toxoplasma-free subjects... Humans are dead-end hosts for T. gondii, because the chances that a human being will be eaten by a feline are infinitesimally small"
What do I say? Cats are evil
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