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Pay Cut Disguised as Tax Cut

My reply to A Better Payroll Tax Cut | ThinkProgress

How can I convince you that what you are considering is in reality a general pay cut.

What is a payroll tax to employers is a form of compensation to employees. In the case of FICA it is deferred compensation in the form of a retirement annuity. Last year's cut letting employees take the compensation now rather deferring to retirement was one thing but now to even consider cutting the employer's portion without requiring that it be passed on to employees is effectively a cut in their pay and a windfall to the employers.

Of course owners and the self-employed will love the idea but don't progressives generally support labor?

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Quantum computers, Qubits, Entanglements

World’s first commercial quantum computer sold to Lockheed Martin for $10 million! including service and support, of course.

So what is a quantum computer?  From the article:

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Informationally-insensitive debt?

Felix Salmon asks Is informationally-insensitive debt a good thing?  

My own thinking falls somewhere in between the two sides he discusses.

Salmon is correct that the current system masks the risks inherent in holding any security or commodity, including cash. However, there is and always will be a demand for a safe place to stash cash pending reinvestment or distribution.

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LET. IT. GO.

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Questionable Finance

Will someone explain to me why, in light of this U.S. Repo Close: Current 3-Year Note at Lowest Rate, Minus 1.7% - Bloomberg, are we, e.g. the US Treasury, paying positive 1.25% on that same note?  That makes its current yield 2.95%.  The difference in time to maturity is not a satisfactory answer.

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Radical Mellonism

The Mellon Doctrine - Paul Krugman - NYTimes.com:

“Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate.” That, according to Herbert Hoover, was the advice he received from Andrew Mellon, the Treasury secretary, as America plunged into depression. To be fair, there’s some question about whether Mellon actually said that; all we have is Hoover’s version, written many years later."

Maybe Krugman is correct. Maybe Mellon-style liquidation is now the official doctrine of the G.O.P. Maybe rather than making the comparison then using it to sneer and argue against G.O.P. plans, it might be more effective to make the comparison then use it to advantage.

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Clay Feet

Paul Krugman reflects on Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software - NYTimes.com in Degrees and Dollars - NYTimes.com

Diagnosis, good. Prescription, lousy.

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